Tips for moving house with kids

Got kids and thinking about moving? You'll need these tips!

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If you've asked a few friends or around the office about what it's like moving with kids, you might be told to avoid it at all costs. Circumstances might make it sometimes unavoidable, though. To ease the stress of moving house with kids, here are some pro tips on undertaking a successful house removal when you have little ones.

Tips for moving house with children

1. Preparation

Prepare children for the move

And it seems preparation is the key when moving house with kids. It can be hard convincing youngsters to leave a home and community they are attached to. So, before the move, parents can help make a house removal with kids easier by getting them involved with the entire family and allowing them to feel a sense of control over unfolding events.

Some parents find blatant bribes work well to get their kids in the right frame of mind about a move. It can be the promise of new bunk beds perhaps, or letting them pick the paint colour for their new room (maybe from within a range you've selected because you might not be especially keen on a pillar box red paint job). Allowing them to spend time designing their new room layout and where they will put their furniture can also help get them excited and help kids cope with the change.

Reframing it as a family adventure can turn it into a positive experience. And the beauty of living in the connected era is being able to use things like Google Earth to check out the new area in advance. Or, sometimes you're able to show the kids the new house via a video tour of your real estate agent's website. The more they can visualise the new place, the more real it will feel and the quicker they will accept their new normal. 

With older kids, the reassurance that they can keep in touch with friends through social media can help them with the transition until they form new attachments.

Make it a fun, stress-free experience for the family. Read our moving guide as part of your prep!

2. Time to pack

Packing with children for the move

When it comes to the actual process of the house removal, getting the whole family involved is usually helpful. While the younger kids won't be much help, older kids can enjoy getting involved by packing up their things. Letting a child pack also reassures them their precious toys aren't being left behind.

Drawing on their boxes can be a fun activity and helps them feel part of the whole enterprise instead of just being inconveniently underfoot during the moving process.

Get your children involved when decluttering for a move

3. Getting help

For the most part, though, a whole house removal will be a far easier process if you arrange it to occur while the kids are at school or daycare (if you're not moving far away). You can also hire a babysitter to mind them at the new house if school is not an option. And it will be a thousand times more pleasant if you hire helpers for the packing and the move itself.  If you can't afford a professional moving company, you will find it very economical to hire an Airtasker or two to help with all your removal needs.

4. First night ready

Getting moving starter kit ready

Seasoned movers advise creating a “starter kit” box to contain all the essentials you will need on the first night in your new home, so you won't be rummaging wildly through boxes looking for your baby's special cup. This is especially helpful when moving with a baby. 

Things like pyjama, their favourite night-time music or DVD, and a portable player are great to have handy. Even placing a familiar-scented candle into your starter kit can help the new house feel more like “home” straight away and make the kids feel at ease.

Similarly, if you don't have the energy to unpack the whole kitchen immediately, make sure you have an easily accessible box containing familiar and easy-to-prepare foods for the family and the kids' favourite snacks. You could also celebrate the new home with a picnic takeaway dinner on a tablecloth on the floor of your empty new house before you unpack, which the kids might find fun.

5. All about the timing

Whether you're going it alone or hiring helpers, try to schedule your house removal as early in the day as possible. Move the kids' furniture and belongings last, so those will be the first things to come off the truck. Making the children's rooms look instantly familiar can be very comforting in the beginning.

6. Settle in

Settling in after the move with children

After the move, help them settle into their new community by exploring the area as soon as possible, finding fun new play spaces, and setting up playdates with new mates. For older kids, actively seeking local extracurricular activities to keep them busy will stop them missing their old hangs and get them acquainted with the new neighbourhood. Enforcing their usual chore responsibilities helps them adjust quickly, as well. 

Make moving with kids a fun experience

Don't stress too much–remember that kids are generally very adaptable and resilient. It's likely it won't take them long to fall into new routines and discover new friends.

Moving house with kids? Find trusted removalists who can help with your needs. To look after your kids, we also have trusted childcare practitioners

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FAQs on Moving with Children

As recommended by experts, the best age to move with kids is when they’re around five to eight years old. This is because they may already understand what is happening, which makes it easier to explain the process and get them to help around with some of the tasks, such as packing their toys.

Children may react differently to the moving process. Older children may understand what’s going on, but younger ones might have lots of questions. To deal with this, here are some tips:

  • Be prepared for their reactions, whether it’s excitement, happiness, anger, or sadness. 

  • Manage their expectations by giving them an idea of where you’ll be moving. 

  • Give them time to process the change.

  • Let them share their insights on certain decisions, such as what colour to paint their new room.

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